Emaar MGF has created its own benchmark for performance management and employee empowerment, writes ARMAN CHAUDHARY.
Real estate has been a late entrant to the organised business category. Wherever existent, processes were dated and stringent, primarily focusing on control and discipline rather than growth and development. It was only around late 2005 that organisations started realising the need for a reformist approach.
From the HR perspective, in the initial years, the performance management system was merely an eyewash with personal biases, relationship and comfort deciding the way an employee´s career went. This gradually created disconnect between individual aspirations and company objectives and resulted in creation of silos; in the absence of a common vision, every function did what suited or impacted it, thereby operating in parts and not as a whole.
When Emaar MGF commenced its operations, it had a clear vision to change the way business was done and to ´Create a New India´. The fundamental principle was clearly understood - the parts need to lead to the whole. Thus, it was important to chart out the vision or mission and break it down into micro, easily understood and implementable targets for people to pursue. As there was no benchmark available in the country, we decided to create one of our own.
We engaged Hay Group, a leading international consultant in performance management, to create a world-class system that enables all employees to deliver their best - for themselves and the organisation. The idea was to ensure that each individual was connected directly to the objectives of the organisation and could contribute directly to its welfare and growth. It was also about enabling each one of our talented people to create a unique space so that their contribution could clearly be noticed, commended and rewarded.
Process and linkages
At the end of the process that lasted about six months, we were able to roll out one of the most comprehensive performance management systems ever, aptly named ´Pinnacle´. In fact, we ensured every functional head and HOD was involved in the development of the module.
In the belief that each one of us has to continuously learn and evolve, we also designed a comprehensive competency management module to go along with the PMS module. The intention was to create a conjoined framework that not only ensured achievement on objectives but made sure people knew what they needed to add to their personalities to be able to do that. It also meant that both the individual and the organisation knew about the behavioural traits that needed honing to move up the ladder.
The creation of Pinnacle changed the way we operated and enabled us to evaluate and measure individual performance and optimise productivity by:
After running the system successfully for a few cycles, we started realising that there were many needs still left unfulfilled and that in order for it to be completely effective, Pinnacle needed a drastic change in modality. After going steady for the initial phase, the process was losing relevance owing to the following key reasons, among others:
Hence, it was inevitable for us to create something that was open and transparent; a platform that gave access to everyone involved in the process and would ensure leadership accountability. Being a technology-oriented organisation, we decided to move ahead and take Pinnacle online. While we were scouting for solutions in the market, most of which were extremely expensive, our IT team suggested something drastic: Driving the process online through the email server rather than buying a platform from outside. Apart from cost saving, they felt it would be easier, more convenient and accessible to all across the organisation and wouldn´t need any infrastructural investment or upgrade.
After six months of hard work, we were ready and rolled out our e-version of Pinnacle. We have been the first in the industry to do something of this nature. Apart from convenience, it also ensures we don´t have to worry about our employee and performance data being available to anybody else.
Benefits of the migration
An automated performance management system ensured that our performance management was built around world-class best practices, encouraged management and employee participation, operated more efficiently, and brought greater consistency to the entire review process. We could also do the following:
Value addition and people empowerment
Emaar MGF believes it is imperative for an organisation to give back a humble part of what it takes from society. EMCARE (Emaar MGF Community of Aware and Responsible Employees) enables our employees to pledge their time, effort and resources towards various CSR activities. Also, we offer a gamut of learning and development experiences under Emaar MGF School of Learning (EMSOL) where training programmes vary from behavioural to technical workshops. The automation and transparency of the system ensures the commitment of the employees, thereby pushing productivity north.
The EMPOWER platform system gives our employees the power to manage and self-certify their attendance and leaves. The module runs in sync with our Flexi-Timings Policy wherein employees have the liberty to choose their working hours, thus maintaining the balance between their work and personal life.
We reward our employees for work well done through a platform named EMINENT with an intention to offer recognition beyond compensation.
Emaar MGF has developed EMPULSE, an all-inclusive approach to constantly engage our employees through open communication, updates, knowledge enhancement and information sharing.
And, HR4U is an online portal we developed to resolve employee grievances, immaterial of whether concerns are generic or specific.
The way ahead
In the coming era of the Cloud, we are looking to further empower our people and take all our processes online, thereby creating a paperless HR function in 2015. This will not only ensure convenience and flexibility for employees but help us make good on our vow to create a sustainable future for generations to come.
About the Author:
Arman Chaudhary, Head-Human Resources, Emaar MGF Land Ltd, has a rich experience of 12 years and is an expert in human resource systems and processes. He is also a member of various professional bodies like the NHRD and DMA.
Note: The views of the spokesperson are personal.